Hudson river school

DEFINITION

A term referencing both an early 19th-Century style of landscape painting and the region where the style began. The region was the Hudson River Valley of New York state, and the "cradle of the style was the Catskill Mountains." The style embraced Realism, Luminism, and Romanticism, and emphasized both dramatic mountain vistas and bucolic, serene country views. The Hudson River School was the first truly American school of painting, meaning determinably divorced from European influence. The name was first used by a writer for the "New York Tribune", who coined the term to brand it as provincial, but the words became a compliment and a description of a subject that was unmistakenly American. Thomas Cole is considered the leader, and about seventy artists are linked to the movement, which began with Cole in 1825. Among the artists are Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Asher Durand, John Frederick Kensett and Jasper Cropsey. The region of the Hudson River School of painters expanded far beyond the Hudson River Valley to include the Berkshires of New York, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, shorelines of New Jersey and Rhode Island, and meadowlands in New York, eastern New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. Source: James Flexner, "History of American Painting", Volume III, pp. 220-221, 241. (LPD)

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